Other than one mistake, deGrom delivers in '15 debut
Mets righty allows two-run HR in first, then blanks Nats for five innings
WASHINGTON -- Jacob deGrom pirouetted on the mound, long hair flapping from underneath his cap, incredulous over what Ryan Zimmerman had just done. The pitch was 94 mph, barreling toward the inner half of the strike zone with enough late movement to carry it off the plate. But Zimmerman did not seem to care, dropping his shoulder and crushing it over the left-field wall.
"That pitch was inside," deGrom said afterward. "He must have just been looking for it. I looked at the video and I got it in where I wanted it. He just happened to hit it."
What no one realized at the time was that Zimmerman's first-inning, two-run homer off deGrom would decide Wednesday's game, a 2-1 loss for the Mets. Though deGrom recovered to pitch five shutout innings after Zimmerman's homer, striking out six and walking two, he lost.
That's nothing new for deGrom, who started last season 0-4 despite allowing a total of 14 runs over his first six starts. But he ended the year with eight wins in his last nine decisions; Wednesday's loss was his first since Aug. 23, which also happened to be the last time that he gave up a homer. deGrom had gone five starts and 35 innings without allowing one.
"He got the ball in the hot zone to Zim and paid for it," manager Terry Collins said. "But other than that, he threw the ball very well."